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How to Use Our New Food and Beverage Digital Transformation Assessment

How to Use Our New Food and Beverage Digital Transformation Assessment

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Test your digitalization

How to Use Our New Food and Beverage Digital Transformation Assessment

May 3, 2022

John McCurdy
Business professionals consult charts on a computer.

As individuals, we’re taught that constantly assessing our standing relative to others and making comparisons between ourselves and our peers can be an unhealthy and detrimental behavior. This is because of the negative feelings of inferiority, frustration and envy that such a mindset can create as we fixate on what we don’t have and how others are more successful.

On a business level, though, regularly taking stock of your organization’s position in relation to those of your competitors is an important and necessary practice. This is especially true in the dynamic and intense food and beverage industry, where rival brands will be moving fast to overtake others and increase their market share.

One of the primary strategies that food and beverage companies employ to achieve that end is implementing new technologies to increase agility and drive better results while really owning the power of data. This process—commonly referred to as “digital transformation”—has become an imperative in this ever-changing world, and understanding just how much progress you’ve made on this front can be crucial for devising an optimized plan going forward.

That’s why we’ve recently launched our own digital transformation assessment for food and beverage businesses. The tool is simple to use, and since the process takes just a few minutes to complete, you’ll have actionable insights in no time.

In this post, we’ll walk you through the necessary steps to complete the assessment and how to best interpret your results and use them to inform important decisions.

Using the Assessment

After inputting some basic information to begin, you’ll find that we’ve split the assessment into 8 different categories. Each requires just a few responses from you, but they vary slightly in their formats and subject matter.

Category 1: Technology

This first section aims to gauge which areas of operations you have already addressed with advanced technologies. Simply check those boxes corresponding to the various aspects of your organization you’ve improved with a digital solution—whether standalone or organization-wide—and proceed by clicking “Next.”

Category 2: Strategy

With this portion of the assessment, we’re trying to gain an understanding of your overall vision for digital transformation, including what planning you’ve done and how actively you’re pursuing your end goal. For this category and each of the next 6, you simply need to answer the 4 questions by indicating your agreement on a 5-point Likert scale.

Category 3: Data

Knowing how critical accurate, up-to-date data is, this category is all about how well you’re leveraging the facts and figures that you collect. The items cover the reliability of your numbers, the platform being used to maintain and update them and the general usability of your database.

Category 4: Operations

This section asks you to take a high-level view of the flow of information and processes in your organization and touches on inventory management, traceability and operational efficiency. You’ll want to take into account your automations and the visibility that your systems provide as you answer.

Category 5: Employees

Considering your people are your greatest asset as a company, we devised this portion to estimate how your approach to employee enablement stacks up compared to industry standards. The questions here touch on automation, remote accessibility and the user-friendliness of your systems.

Category 6: Customers

Establishing a sterling brand reputation takes excellent customer service and satisfaction, so this category helps measure your performance in this area. Consider your communication and alignment with the clients you work with as you indicate your agreement with the statements provided.

Category 7: Culture

Another section dedicated to evaluating your business at a more holistic level, here we’re looking to get a feel for your ability to be flexible and take advantage of technology to overcome disruptions and make sound decisions on the fly. Answer according to your individual experiences and observations of how well others in the organization are able to collaborate.

Category 8: Investment

There’s no doubt that digital transformation can be a long and involved journey, so with this last category we want to gain insight into whether you’ve put sufficient resources toward the process and understand the best practices to use. We know it can be difficult to know whether you’re really doing all that you can in terms of implementing technology, so simply indicate your agreement based on your own perceptions.

Interpreting Your Results

Once you advance past the final page of the assessment and input a few more details, you’ll find yourself looking at your personalized results page. At the top is a color-coded scale indicating what stage your digital transformation has reached thus far—from “Non-Existent” to “Advanced”—and an accompanying percentage that indicates how far you’ve come toward technological maturity.

You’ll also be provided with your highest- and lowest-scoring categories, which should help you understand your strengths and weaknesses as a company. Finally, at the bottom of the page you’ll see another color-coded scale that indicates your digital transformation progress relative to other industry organizations based on the findings of IDC’s Global Food and Beverage Industry Trends and Strategic Insights whitepaper commissioned by Aptean.

Taking the Next Steps in Digital Transformation

Now that you have a good idea of how your deployment of technology compares to that of other food and beverage businesses, you may be interested in accelerating your efforts to surpass the competition and get the edge on other brands in your segment. IDC’s research returned several findings that indicate there are compelling reasons to do so.

For example, 80% of responding companies engaged in digital transformation have seen improvements in the key performance indicators (KPIs) of general business intelligence, direct-to-consumer revenue, overall equipment effectiveness and procurement efficiency. Their food safety performance has benefited even more, with gains of approximately 83% on that front.

Respondents are also seeing the impact of digital transformation on financial success, with those whose initiatives are “in progress” achieving an average revenue increase of 3.7% and average profit increase of 3.6%. Meanwhile, responding organizations with fully matured modernization strategies enjoyed even bigger increases of 5.6% for both revenue and profits.

The study also demonstrated the power of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution as the basis for a digital transformation. Notably, cloud implementations of an industry-specific ERP delivered the best results, with an average revenue increase of 3.3% and average profit increase of 3.9%, compared to the 1.7% revenue increase and 2.7% profit increase for on-premise installations.

Knowing all this, now it’s up to you to act on the information you’ve received. Aptean and our award-winning solution, Aptean Food and Beverage ERP, should be at the top your list of platforms to consider, as we offer a solution packed with must-have features and the same sort of flexible cloud deployments mentioned above.

Our product is built on the rock-solid framework of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, making for seamless updates and affording an intuitive, approachable interface. We have decades of collective experience and are ready and willing to act as your partner in the roll-out process, providing assistance with planning, training and best practices to pick up along the way.

When you’re ready to hear more about our company as a solutions provider and what our offerings can do for your food and beverage business, don’t hesitate to contact us. We also offer personalized demos for those who want to see the system in action.

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